DETROIT Dec 6 A Detroit-area entrepreneur has
offered to donate $5 million to help protect the collection of
the Detroit Institute of Arts from being sold or otherwise
monetized as part of Detroit's bankruptcy, the Detroit Free
Press reported on Friday.
A. Paul Schaap, founder of diagnostics research firm Lumigen
Inc, told the paper he planned to meet on Friday with
U.S. Judge Gerald Rosen, the lead mediator in the bankruptcy, to
discuss the potential donation.
"I have to believe there are more of us out there who want
to do something and didn't quite know how to approach it,"
Schaap told the Free Press.
Schaap did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Lumigen is based in Southfield, Michigan.
The Detroit Insitute of Arts' collection is owned by the
city of Detroit, and Rosen has asked a number of charitable
foundations to create a fund to purchase the art from the city
and create an independent nonprofit to run the museum.
Auction house Christie's on Wednesday released a preliminary
report commissioned by the city that valued the portion of the
collection bought with city funds at between $452 million and
$866 million. The Christie's report also
suggested five strategies for monetizing the art collection
without selling it outright.
The appraisal of about 5 percent of the museum's collection,
which included works by van Gogh and Matisse, surprised some
experts who thought the collection might be more valuable.
A group of the city's largest creditors last month asked the
bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit's case to approve an
independent valuation of the collection.
Detroit has more than $18 billion in debt, and on Tuesday it
became the largest U.S. city ever to be declared legally